We found our Viking Rhine Getaway River Cruise on the Viking Sky to be great fun, well-organized, good food, clean rooms & boat, and a very efficient & friendly staff. Check in/out took less than 5 min, with about the same amount of time for us to receive our luggage in our room or meet our luggage on the dock at the end.
Their included tours were very informative, well-organized, and lasted just the right amount of time, giving us time to sightsee or shop on our own. We never felt pressured to sign up for optional outings, or in tipping. Everything about the boat seemed geared towards our comfort or thoughtfulness -- like offering us free bottles of water to take when we left the boat. Umbrellas were in a stand if you did not have one. Snacks on our return, and in the lounge. Things like that.
I do not recommend signing up for the beverage packet. My husband and I ran a tab, and enjoyed several drinks daily from the bar. At the end of the cruise, our tab was less than half the price of the beverage packet.
We also found the room category was not important. We were only in the room to sleep or change clothes. Even though we were in a lower cabin, we did not hear any engine noise, feel vibrations, or smell any fumes. The whole boat is amazingly quiet and motion free. Sometimes the only way we could tell if we were moving was to look out a window.
We were worried about what type of clothes to take, and found dress is pretty much office casual -- slacks, sweaters, skirts. At the captains dinner women wore simple dress/skirt, or slacks with a nicer sweater. Men wore mostly khakis or jeans. There were no suits, no formal wear.
We bought their photo CD at the end of our trip, and found the photos to be excellent - scenery with shots of passengers on the tours / boat. They were about the same photos I took, only better. They used a much higher quality of camera, and the CD let me copy, foward, etc. At around 14 E it was a good bargain with over 200 photos of our trip.
We liked our first cruise with Viking so much, that on our return we immediately booked one for March 2013 (Paris/Normandy) and Nov 2013 (Danube Waltz). We will be booking the China trip for 2014.
I can honestly say we had some reservations on taking a river cruise. We had taken a Caribbean cruise and hated it, and that will be solely a matter of preference & likes, as to which type of cruise is preferred by any 1 person. A river cruise is a much smaller boat, the meals and food choices are simpler and more limited, nor is there the activities / options. But on the river cruise, there was always scenery to view, quick check on/off, no long lines for anything, a much smaller boat & group, the daily tours are included in the price, docking close enough to walk or get around on our own, or just relaxing and enjoying the scenery from the deck of the boat, in a comfortable chair and drink in hand. There was no loud music blaring or children, instead we enjoyed conversations with interesting adults mostly ranging in ages from 40 - 60's - a few younger, a few older. It was the most stress-free and enjoyable vacation we have taken. We thoroughly recommend it. Katie & Keith
Email me with any questions..firstname.lastname@example.org